New Delhi: For the ninth consecutive time today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hoist the national flag from the ramparts of the Red Fort and then address the nation soon after hoisting the flag at 7 am Monday morning. The August 15 ceremony is particularly significant this year as it marks the 75th anniversary of India’s Independence, with the government launching a host of exercises to add to the verve around the celebration.
Mr Modi has often used the occasion to highlight key outcomes of his government’s policies and has made important announcements.
Official sources said the Prime Minister is likely to announce a host of initiatives for the health sector on this Independence Day. The “Heal in India” and “Heal by India” projects and a roadmap to eliminate sickle cell disease by 2047 will likely be the highlight of Mr Modi’s announcements on the health sector initiatives, the sources said.
The inclusion of the Quadrivalent Human Papillomavirus vaccine (qHPV) against cervical cancer in the National Immunisation Programme and the expansion of the National Health Mission under a new name “PM Samagra Swasthya Mission” may also figure in Mr Modi’s speech from the Red Fort, said officials.
Under the “Heal in India” initiative that aims at positioning the country as a global hub for medical and wellness tourism, medical infrastructure at 37 hospitals in 12 states will be ramped up to boost medical tourism, the sources said.
His speech last year was marked by the announcements of the National Hydrogen Mission, the Gati Shakti Master Plan and the launch of 75 Vade Bharat trains in 75 weeks.
Meanwhile, ahead of the Independence Day celebrations, security has been stepped up across the national capital, with more than 10,000 personnel manning the Red Fort, from where the Prime Minister will address the country.
From facial recognition system cameras to multi-layered security cover and the deployment of over 400 kite catchers and fliers, the security forces have left no stone unturned to ensure protection at the historic fort, where 7,000 invitees are expected to gather for the event.
Further, a 5-km area around the Red Fort has been demarcated as a “no kite flying zone” until the tricolour is hoisted and the Prime Minister’s programme is over.
Around 1,000 high-specification cameras have been installed in the north, central and New Delhi district units to contain aerial objects. These cameras will also help monitor the VVIP route to the monument, the police said.